Monday, 18 May 2009

Kirk Douglas

Cleft-chinned, steely-eyed and virile star of international cinema who rose from being "the ragman's son" (the name give to his best-selling 1988 autobiography) of Russian-Jewish ancestry to become a bona fide superstar,
Kirk Douglas was actually born Issur Danielovitch Demsky in Amsterdam, New York, in 1916. Although growing up in a poor ghetto,
Douglas was a fine student and a keen athlete and wrestled competitively during his time at St. Lawrence University.
However, he soon identified an acting scholarship as a way out of his meager existence, and was sufficiently talented to gain entry into the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
He only appeared in a handful of minor
Broadway productions before joining the US Navy in 1941, and then after the end of hostilities in 1945, returned to the theater and some radio work.
On the insistence of ex-classmate
Lauren Bacall movie producer Hal B. Wallis screen-tested Douglas and cast him in the lead role in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946).
His performance received rave reviews and further work quickly followed, including an appearance in the low-key drama I Walk Alone (1948), the first time he worked alongside fellow future screen legend
Burt Lancaster.
Such was the strong chemistry between the two that they appeared in seven films together, including the dynamic western
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957), the John Frankenheimer political thriller Seven Days in May (1964) and their final pairing in the gangster comedy Tough Guys (1986).
Douglas once said about his good friend: "I've finally gotten away from Burt Lancaster. My luck has changed for the better. I've got nice-looking girls in my films now".

Douglas remained busy throughout the 1960s, starring in many films,. He played a rebellious modern-day cowboy in Lonely Are the Brave (1962), acted alongside
John Wayne in the World War II story In Harm's Way (1965),
again with The Duke in a drama about the Israeli fight for independence, Cast a Giant Shadow (1966), and once more with Wayne in the tongue-in-cheek western The War Wagon (1967). Additionally,
in 1963 he starred in an onstage production of Ken Kesey's "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest", but despite his keen interest, no Hollywood studio could be convinced to bring the story to the screen.
However, the rights remained with the Douglas clan, and Kirk's talented son
Michael Douglas finally filmed the tale in 1975, starring Jack Nicholson.
Into the 1970s Douglas wasn't as busy as previous years; however,
he starred in some unusual vehicles, including alongside a young
Arnold Schwarzenegger in the loopy western comedy The Villain (1979),
then with Farrah Fawcett in the sci-fi thriller Saturn 3 (1980) and then he traveled to Australia for the horse opera/drama
The Man from Snowy River (1982).


bluedreamer27 said...

just dropping by here
have a great day and happy blogging
thanks for always supporting my blog alli
and guest what my lil sister want to creat a blog for her own so i think sam will have her new blog mates
what yah think?

Anonymous said...

Hey baba,great post,you know what the saying is,dimple on chin,devil within,see ya later chum.Sara.

ps forgot me log in details
Duh! :-(

transitenator said...

Hi Allison

Thank you for the comment at 'RaetselSchatz'.

So ... I had to take a look at your blogs. Real nice!

I would like to be Doris Day, no, ... :) just kidding.

At this post here I had to leave a comment becaaauuuseeee:

There was once, in the 60ies a very beautiful day, a day when I was supposed to be in school, but I wasn't.
Together with a friend we bunked off school (ditched it) and instead went to see a movie.
This movie was: The 1954 made film with Kirk Douglas: 20000 leagues under the sea.
A couple of years later my friend died (young) under severe (or maybe 'heavy' ?) cirumstances. However whenever I see the face of Kirk Douglas I remember the movie, I remember my friend (alive & young) and remember this beautiful day.
So ...

Best Regards!